Two weeks ago a man in France was arrested for raping his daughter. She’d gone to her school counselor and then the police, but they needed “hard evidence.” So, she videotaped her next assault. Her father was eventually arrested. His attorney explained, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.” Because, really, even despite her seeking help, her testimony, her bravery in setting up a webcam to film her father raping her, you really can’t believe what the girl says, can you?
Everyone “knows” this. Even children.
Three years ago, in fly-on-the-wall fashion of parent drivers everywhere, I listened while a 14-year-old girl in the back seat of my car described how angry she was that her parents had stopped allowing her to walk home alone just because a girl in her neighborhood “claimed she was raped.” When I asked her if there was any reason to think the girl’s story was not true, she said, “Girls lie about rape all the time.” She didn’t know the person, she just assumed she was lying…
No one says, “You can’t trust women,” but distrust them we do. College students surveyed revealed that they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incident of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range, pretty much the same as false claims for other crimes. As late as 2003, people jokingly (wink, wink) referred to Philadelphia’s sex crimes unit as “the lying bitch unit.” If an 11-year-old girl told an adult that her father took out a Craigslist ad to find someone to beat and rape her while he watched, as recently actually occurred, what do you think the response would be? Would she need to provide a videotape after the fact?
It goes way beyond sexual assault as well. That’s just the most likely and obvious demonstration of “women are born to lie” myths. Women’s credibility is questioned in the workplace, in courts, by law enforcement, in doctors’ offices, and in our political system. People don’t trust women to be bosses, or pilots, or employees. Pakistan’s controversial Hudood Ordinance still requires a female rape victim to procure four male witnesses to her rape or risk prosecution for adultery. In August, a survey of managers in the United States revealed that they overwhelmingly distrust women who request flextime. It’s notable, of course, that women are trusted to be mothers—the largest pool of undervalued, unpaid, economically crucial labor.
1, 25, 28, 29, 57, uhhh.... 63 (figure this might actually get pretty varied answers)
1. I’d be kidding myself and you trying to be insightful and wise by saying no so yes. It matters to me. For very specific reasons, being, I can’t ever date an extremely empirically beautiful person because I don’t ever want people to wonder why they’re with me. Also, I don’t want to wonder why either.
25. Difficult to say. On one hand yes, because I think it’s natural to want to give love and feel love, but one the other hand relationships bring out the absolute worst in me and I tend to get more pain than happiness out of it so it’s probably best I don’t
28. Not that I’m aware of?
29. Mm, not intentionally. Kind of complicated, but long story short, my last boyfriend (forever ago, high school, ugh) and I broke up, shit was bad, we hated each other, tried to hurt each other in any insidious way possible, then toward the end of the year we reconciled in a big way, right around the time I started doing it with the guy I had been in love with for like two years but who broke my fucking heart (another long story, really stupid, but it was worse than some random guy because this boyfriend knew the extent to which I loved him and feared that if it came down to a choice he would be the one to lose; I still don’t know if that was true). Anyway, he thought that we were back together even though we didn’t actually have a conversation about it, meanwhile I had hit the sheets with this other guy when he went back to Latvia for a couple weeks and didn’t tell him about it until months later. He was really angry and hurt, I got called lots of names, didn’t hear from him for two years until this summer. Really strange. I guess what I’d like to say is I wouldn’t cheat on anyone knowingly.
57. What would I say to an ex…boyfriend or ex-we-used-to-bang-consistently? Well, how much time do you have? Just kidding. The last relationships I’ve had have not been that at all, probably for good reason. So It’s probably “I really wish you never got the idea that you should have brought your existence into my awareness”
63. I consider it sex if I’m entered. With their penis. Fingers, toys, etc. don’t count. I have yet to have love making with the same sex so don’t have a regulation for that.
16. I don’t! I was pretty set on getting a tattoo of my grandma’s name when she died as a commemoration for her, my favorite person ever, (got the idea from my best friend who has her gran’s name on her wrist; it’s so beautiful) but just never ended up doing it
40. I’m a writer so a definite yes to this. All Most of them are about emotional distress
61. I’m not sure what the first thing is, but I am generally not very drawn toward people who are very popular. I’m actually pretty put off by them. Not because of anything they’ve done, I just gravitate more toward people who are more understated and seem more thoughtful and selective with who they let into their lives.
74. I am really super into hair for some reason? There was this one kid I had a quick thing with this past summer who had messy curly hair, this is a stupid reference point but think Nick Jonas in his younger days hair, and I could not stop grabbing at it. He was a total asshole but his hair was perfect. Also, be well-dressed and I am under your spell. Button downs & well-tailored suits = sploosh
81. Five is hard. I get driven insane by the incredible amount of beauty in the world. Most of them are women because I don’t even think more perfect things have existed. Like how is everyone not attracted to women? I don’t even know. I’ll just list all the people I’m enamored with at the moment: Emma Watson (always), young Claudia Cardinale (though she’s still foxy), Adele Exarchopoulos cause good lord, Lykke Li (soulmate) and of course gotta shout out the flawless Lupita Nyong’o; I’m blown away every time I see her. Whoops, did I say most are women? I meant all. Because, women.